CHICAGO — Reflecting improved results at Ardent Mills, L.L.C., equity method investment earnings at Conagra Brands, Inc. in the third quarter ended Feb. 25 were $29 million, up 33% from $21.8 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2017.
The results were included in Conagra’s Form 10-Q filed April 3 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Conagra’s net income in the third quarter was $362.8 million.
Year-to-date equity method investment earnings at Conagra were $79.6 million, up 53% from $52.1 million for the first three quarters of fiscal 2017. A benefit of $4.3 million was included in the earnings of the third quarter and first three quarters of fiscal 2018 in connection with a gain on the substantial liquidation of an international joint venture. No further details were offered about this transaction.
“In addition, Ardent Mills earnings were higher than they were in the prior-year periods due to more favorable market conditions and continued improvement in operating effectiveness,” Conagra said.Ardent Mills was established in 2014 through the combined North American milling operations of ConAgra Foods and Horizon Milling (a joint venture of Cargill and CHS). Conagra holds a 44% stake in Ardent Mills. In fiscal 2017, Ardent Mills accounted for 94% of Conagra’s equity method investment earnings.